Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Scots-Irish in The Netherlands

Map of The Netherlands

We usually don’t think of Holland as a place for immigration from Ireland. However, if you consider the historical context, it makes sense. I’ve had the chance to trace several cases, most Scots-Irish from Ulster, which connected into The Netherlands.
In 1568, the war of independence for The Netherlands against Catholic Spain was begun. Scottish regiments arrived serving under the Protestant Prince of Orange (William I). The Netherlands became a solid Protestant county with the Reformed Church as the main faith. From 1572 to 1782 there were always Scottish regiments and their descendants in The Netherlands. The key to this piece of history is that many of the Scottish regiments were actually Protestants from Ulster. These Scottish regiments eventually were transformed into Dutch regiments, officially ending the Scots and Protestant Irish presence. Their descendants can still be found in The Netherlands today.
Do not be surprised if your Dutch immigrant ancestor named Visser is really Fisher, Verbaas is really Forbes, de Jong is really Young and Kroeders is really a Crowther.
Caledonian Society of the Netherlands

A lineage society for the Scots regiments is the Caledonian Society:

Records of marriage for these families, taken from Reformed records have been published in Dr. IR. J. MacLean’s De Huwelijksintekeningen Van Schotse Militairen in Nederland 1574-1665 (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers, 1976). Some baptisms can be found in James Ferguson’s Papers Illustrating the History of the Scots Brigade in the Service of the United Netherlands 1572-1782, 3 Vols.  (Edinburgh: University Press, 1899, 1901). Other works also exist. 

1 comment:

  1. Do not be surprised if your Dutch immigrant ancestor named (...) Verbaas is really Forbes (...).
    Hundreds of times I have seen this sentence, taken from J. MacLean's 'Huwelijksintekeningen ...'. But in the book there is no source for this assumption. Without proof it is nice to say Verbaas comes from Forbes, but ... show me the proof!! Show me the Forbes who became a Verbaas or whose child became a Verbaas!!